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SMEs have the key to end unemployment-Professor of Finance

Takoradi, Sept. 15, GNA- Professor Godfred Bokpin, Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, has called for good business practices in managing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to live the dream of sustainability, to become the lifeblood of communities.

He said Small and Medium Enterprises had the keys to solve the unemployment situation as well as ensure economic emancipation in the country.

The Professor of Finance was speaking at the Access Bank and Graphic Business Clinic to unlock the many potentials of SMEs through digital tools such as Facebook, WhatsApp, telegram, and YouTube.

The clinic which is the third in the series of regional fora, was attended by about 200 SMEs, startups, youth and female entrepreneurs and was on the theme « Unlocking the potential of SMEs through digitalisation ».

Professor  Bokpin established that the universities existed to produce competent individuals who could be employed by such businesses and thus must be reminded of the critical need to adopt right business, marketing skills and knowledge to enhance customer base and profitability.

He described the clinic as useful initiative to periodically purge the Ghanaian business environment and promote healthy businesses, “this is what Ghana needs…better ways of doing things”.

Professor Bokpin while taking them through business levers such as, proper records and bookkeeping despite how small the business was, stressed the need to treat customers with utmost respect adding that every business needed buyers to exist and warned against bad behaviours that might allow businesses to lose customers.

He encouraged them to use technology as a key avenue to advertise their goods and services, especially with the Africa Continental Trade gaining roots.

The Professor of Finance also called on them to have good succession plans, seek continuous knowledge for continuous improvement and monitor the pattern of trade for informed decision making.

Mr Kafui Bimpe, Group Head of Business Banking at Access Bank said the Clinic had shaped the lives of some 6000 SMEs after the COVID-19 Pandemic as a measure to revamp the sector.

He noted the tussles many businesses had to undergo to survive the COVID-19 era and the close ups which even occurred… »as a bank we thought it prudent to invest in SMEs who have direct bearings with the local economy ».

The Group Head said the bank had so far disbursed a total of 50 million cedis collateral free capital as commitment to reviving the sector adding that the capacities of more than 6,500 SMEs nationwide had been built.

“We are also undertaking research and gathering the right information for periodic publication to these SMEs for some good decisions,” Mr Bimpe said.

Some participants encouraged the government to give a tax-free room or duration to young people dreaming of being entrepreneurs and startups, while the bank should willingly invest in such viable business ideas.

Mildred Siabi-Mensah

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